Jozy Altidore’s scoring issues at the club level have been well-documented over the past 18 months, but the much-maligned striker has had few problems putting the ball away for the US national team in the meantime.
The 25-year-old front man scored his first goal of 2015 in his country’s 3-2 friendly defeat to Chile on Wednesday night, drilling home a low shot from the edge of the box in the 31st-minute after a neat cut-back pass from midfielder Mix Diskerud.
Former Stoke City winger Brek Shea had earlier put the US ahead on six minutes after getting onto the end of a Matt Besler through ball, before Roberto Gutierrez hit back for the home side just four minutes later.
Altidore then gave Jurgen Klinsmann's side the lead again just after the half-hour, but a second-half double from ex-Liverpool wide man Mark Gonzalez sealed the South Americans the win in Rancagua.
Having seen his reputation take a considerable hit during his time at Sunderland after netting just once in 40 league games, Altidore now has five goals in his past eight US appearances, and continues to prove himself one of head coach Klinsmann’s most important players.
Recently making the move to Toronto FC in a swap deal for the unsettled Jermain Defoe, a fresh start back in MLS could be just what’s needed to get the Florida-native firing on the domestic scene again and, speaking to MLSsoccer.com after the match, he appeared to support that sentiment.
“I don’t see how coming back to a place where you’re going to get games, a place where there’s a lot of expectations to win finally, in that type of market, I don’t see how that can hurt somebody,” said Altidore.
"I think I’m going to improve and I wouldn’t have done the move if I didn’t think I could improve and then try to contribute that to the national team … I want to get better and I thought this was a perfect place to do that.”
A rising star with the New York Red Bulls as a teenager, Altidore notched 16 goals in 41 regular-season games between 2006 and 2008, before sealing a league-record $10 million switch to Villarreal, and Toronto fans will be hoping for even better numbers from him this time around.